The issue of race and class played a crucial role in the history of America up to 1865. The catalyst of racism was the Americans’ belief that they were more superior to other races. As at nineteenth century, the arrival of black immigrants led to the practice of slavery based on racism. According to American history, the whites believed they comprised the chosen population, and this promoted their justification of slavery on the other races. The difference between colors was what racism based on. The dark skinned people were considered unintelligent, but were more energetic to perform manual labor in the white’s farms. Consequentially, different classes resulted as the slaves formed the low class while the white masters formed the high class. Despite the fact that racism and class significantly played negative roles in the U.S history, there were also some positive impacts on it.
This essay explicates the role of race and class in the American history until 1865.
Firstly, racism and class were the source of slavery in the U.S. Racism essentially catalyzed the rise of slavery against the other races. The history of America clearly explains how the whites believed that they were more superior to other races. They believed that they were more intelligent compared to the Asia Americans and African Americans amongst other races. As the whites occupation was mainly white-collar jobs, they believed that blacks were more physique; thus, had to work on the farms as laborers. Consequentially, many Africans were enslaved in the cotton and tobacco farms as laborers. Horsman (1981) indicates that the slaves lived and worked under harsh climatic conditions as their masters oppressed them. This led to deaths of many Africans because of new climatic conditions and whipping from their masters. Basing on this, slavery was one of the major impacts of racism in America.
Secondly, the issue of slavery led to the American civil war. After the election of Abraham Lincoln as President in 1860, the whites thought there would be an expansion of slavery to the other states. Abraham Lincoln was a member of the Republican Party who advocated for nationalism; thus, he supported the abolishment of slavery. The issue of racism and discrimination against the blacks, led to the uprising of the civil war, as they wanted expansion of slavery to the American states. The war began in 1861 when some cotton states attacked the U.S Army in Carolina. These cotton states were among the many that were supporting the expansion of slavery to get laborers for their farms. The attack annoyed Abraham Lincoln and pressurized him to call for volunteers, to support its army to end slavery. The civil war halted in 1865 after the Southerners who were fighting to preserve slavery surrendered.
Another crucial role played by racism and class was sectionalism. Sectionalism is the difference between the North and South in terms of economic and social structure. As from 1800, the Northern states had decided to abolish slavery, unlike the Southern states. The North at that point focused on industrialization and urbanization of their states. This created a significant difference between the two as the South was still investing more on agriculture. The Southerners were still holding the slaves to work on their tobacco and cotton farms. The issue of racism in the South made it lag behind in terms of economic development as compared to the north. The North rose to the standards of an industrial town as the South was characterized by agriculture.
Fourthly, racism and class in the U.S led to the high growth of their economy until 1865. According to Horsman (1981), the enslavement of blacks in whites’ farms as laborers made the whites gain more output and; thus, economic growth. As mentioned before, the blacks were more energetic and had potential to perform in the farms. The whites’ farms mostly practiced growth of cotton and tobacco. Considering the fact that the slaves were compensated meagerly, this meant that their masters were using less input, but gaining an abnormal output. The exportation of the white’s products enabled them to build a distinguished class because of the favorable markets. Some of the wealthiest white men held up to 100 slaves for their farms. The situation was characterized by a monopolistic market because the blacks were not allowed to practice farming of commercial products. Arguably, this features as one of the few positive roles that racism played in the American history.
Fifthly, racism is considered as one of the main factors that played a crucial role in the spreading of religion. As slavery was taking roots in the U.S, not every white man was impressed by this. The religious leaders criticized the spread of slavery entirely as they considered it evil. The reverends who wanted to fight slavery had to use biblical teachings, which led to the formation of churches. Slavery was considered as an evil act against human beings created in God’s image. The fight against racism led to the emergence and spread of many religious groups.
In the early 1800’s, there was a radical emergence of civil unions in America. Obliviously, the issue of racism and class characterized this. Many civil unions emerged to fight the mistreatment of the slaves mainly of African and Asian race. Horsman (1981) asserts that the slaves were also human beings and had the rights just like any other person. The movements were also against the anti-whites crimes. The blacks were mostly killed or insulted, but no action was taken against the suspects of the crimes. The constitution advocated for rights of the slaves, but they were not exercised. Despite the fact that the civil movements faced rebellions mostly from the Southern states, they did not give up until the issue of slavery was addressed. Later on, these civil unions still fought for the rights of the common citizens in U.S.
In addition to that, Horsman (1981) intimates that one of the most disgusting roles that racism did for U.S was blood shade and deaths. As slavery took root, there were rebellions against the whole issue. These rebellions led to uprisings that saw the slaves hanged by their masters. Not only the slaves died, but also the White masters who were attacked and killed during the demonstrations. The civil war was mainly catalyzed by racism as some quarters were against slavery of the blacks. The civil war led to deaths of many Americans and soldiers.
Lastly, racism saw U.S coming up with states’ rights. The state rights meant that each state had its own kind of constitution. A citizen from a certain state could practice the rights of his/her state on another state. However, this was opposed by the Northern states as it meant that slaves could be sneaked into their states, and they were against that.
In conclusion, racism and class played critical roles in the history of the U.S. The Americans ideology was that they were more superior to any other race. The arrival of the Asian Americans and African Americans marked the beginning of slavery. The blacks were enslaved in the whites’ farms that mostly grew cotton and tobacco. Slavery was one of the earliest roles played by blacks. In later years, other issues emerged because of slavery. In 1861, there was a civil war in America. This was because Abraham Lincoln who was the then president of the U.S tried to abolish the spread of slavery. Notably, racism played some positive roles in the history of America. During the slavery period, there was a considerable growth in the economy and the spread of Christianity.